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SCCA Can-Am II


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#1 FEV

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Posted 18 September 2001 - 19:49

Hi all,

Thanks to Martin Krejci I have some good stats about the second generation of the Can-Am Challenge. But there are still a few gaps that maybe some of you could help me fill. For instance the points scoring system. It seems to have change quite a lot in the 10 years existence of the series. The only one I'm sure of is for 1979 & 1980 : classic 9-6-4-3-2-1 for both +2000cc and under -2000cc. But for the other years it remains quite obscure to me (specially the 78 year with Jones winning it with 2712 pts - was it a NASCAR-like system :confused: ).

I know most of the cars were rebodied F5000s but I was wondering about the origin of some of them : John Gunn's GG4/5/7..., the Prophet successfully driven by George Follmer and Bobby Rahal, the Cicale Specials, the 1980 Marquey of Richard Guider to name a few.

On a more general point of vue, what is the opinion of those of you who followed the series or/and saw some of the races ? I often read and heard people saying it wasn't very interresting, but there were quite a lot of great names participating (drivers & teams). The fields didn't seem to be very homogeneous but that doesn't always meen boring races.

Thanks
FEV

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#2 Dave Ware

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Posted 18 September 2001 - 21:28

I attended some races at Mid-Ohio and possibly elsewhere. Don't have any vivid memories. I was never terribly impressed with the "second-generation Can-Am", as they liked to call it. Really had nothing in common with the original Can-Am, and since I liked F5000, I did't care for putting fenders on them.

Dave

#3 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 12:20

FEV

How nice to find someone else who is interested in this over-neglected formula. Take a look at OldRacingCars.com's Can-Am section where there's a lot of work going on to determine the histories of each and every Single-Seat Can-Am car.

The ones you mention specifically:

John Gunn's car was his old F5000 Lola T332 (chassis HU47), which he had bought new in August 1974. He also used a second-hand Lola T333 in 1980 but didn't like it and returned to his original car.
The 1979 Prophet was based on a 1976 Lola T332C. It was rebuilt for 1980 after a heavy crash at Laguna Seca and then there was a second Prophet built in 1980 which was wrecked after just three races.
The first Cicale Special was a rebodied Ralt RT1 (as were the second and third) but note that Cicale bodies were later put on March chassis by other people.
The 1980 Marquey was a Cicale body on a March 80A Formula Atlantic car. There were later Margueys in 1982 and 1984.

Allen

#4 FEV

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 13:12

Thanks for all the great info Allen ! at ORC.com there is one car for which I didn't find anything: Patrick mcGonegle's 1978 Mannix MX2. Was it know under a another name ?
I'm too young to have witnessed a Can-Am II race but looking back at it it clearly looks better than what most people said of it. It's true that the last years of the series were really poor but the 1977-1982 era really looks like good racing to me.

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 17:31

The July & August issues of Sports Car, the SCCA house publication, covered Can-Am II in a rather fair, balanced way. It was nowhere as bad as some may have heard, but any magic to the Can-Am concept was gone. The financial scene of the late-70's and early-80's didn't help.

It was an example of "a great idea at the time" which just never worked out as many anticipated or hoped. An unfortunate victim of the collateral damage from the decison was the SCCA/USAC F5000 series, just as it really -- and finally -- seemed to be heading in the right direction.

The SCCA leadership made a decision based on the best information thay had available, on what they knew that worked, and what they knew best. It was clearly a judgment call and could have gone in any number of directions. Life is like that. The SCCA truly struggled in the 1970's for any variety of reasons, a mixture of internal and external issues and pressures -- but so did USAC and NASCAR it must be remembered.

Perhaps the one thing in retrospect that I liked the most about Can-Am II was it brought back something for perhaps its Last Hurrah -- the American Special builder. In a racing world where only a few suppliers provide the tools, it was refreshing to see the old spirit rekindled that was a hallmark of most American racing series for decades -- Specials. If you haven't read the Allen Girdler book on American Road Racing Specials, you are missing a real treat. The Can-Am II days brought that sense of "fun" back for at least awhile. It is not a thought that often crosses many minds today, but there is a real sense of loss when all the chassis are from X, Y, or perhaps Z. In F1, to me, the only real difference is the millions the teams spend, not the cars. But, that is another story....

#6 FEV

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 19:46

What a great analysis Don ! That makes me realise that the late 70s - early 80s was probably one of the worst era for american racing : SCCA struggling, USAC/CART fighting and splitting, Trans-Am in its worst years, NASCAR busy making (slowly but surely) the transition between the moonshiners era to the big $ nationwide TV era, IMSA also in a transition between amateur club races to international endurance... Hopefully most of those series overcame the bad period (except for Can-Am II) to blossom into great championships.

If you haven't read the Allen Girdler book on American Road Racing Specials, you are missing a real treat.


Do you think it's avalaible somewhere in Europe or by the net ? It must be a great book.

Thanks Don,
FEV

#7 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 September 2001 - 20:13

FEV

I need a better search facility on ORC.

The Mannix was a Chevron B24 (chassis B24-73-02). It is covered in the Can-Am section here and in the F5000 section here. You may wonder why the two sections aren't integrated. So do I! I just need more time :( .

Allen

#8 Martin Krejci

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Posted 21 September 2001 - 05:45

FEV:
First I have to thank to Allen Brown who cared to find out most of the results of Can-Am 77-86.
Second: You are right about the point system in 1979-1980. I have no idea about 1978. In other years:

1977 - I don't know.
in race 1,5,6,7: 22-15-10-8-5-3-2
in race 2,8: 15-10-??-5
in race 3,4: 36-24-16-12
in race 9: 30-?-?-10

No system I found this year.

1981,1982:
OA: 90-60-40-30-20-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
U2L in 1981: 9-6-4-3-2-1
U2L in 1982: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1

1983:
no idea:

1984:
20-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

1985:
I don't know.
I think bonus point for Pole Position

1986:
I don't know.

Does anybody has photos of these old good Can-Am cars? I found most of them interesting and quite unique. That's one of reasons I like the series whole from 1966 to 1986.

#9 FEV

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Posted 21 September 2001 - 07:36

Thanks to you two so !

Allen, your site is great and the search facility is not that bad ! - if I was not so lazy I would have found "Mannix" by myself :lol: .

Martin, I tried to figure out the points system through the championship tables you provided at WSPR. I suspected something like that for 81-82 (points for overall + for class) but couldn't figure it out. The 77 system seems quite strange : it doesn't even correspond with a coefficient system... I don't think there is another championship in motorsport history that has changed so many times of scoring system...
For the photos I wish I had some too...

FEV